//Bihar village hails daughter who is US district judge

Bihar village hails daughter who is US district judge

IndiaEnews.COM, Monday, December 04, 2006

It is a typically poor village in Bihar but with one key difference. A girl born here occupies a top judicial position in the US and the small village is waiting to felicitate her.

Sabita Singh, appointed judge of the District Circuit Court of Massachusetts last month, has become an icon for the people of Mureka in Saran district, about 300 km from the state capital. She is the first South Asian woman to become an American district judge.

'She is a new star for the old and the young here. After all, becoming a judge even in India for a woman is not easy, and she has become one in America,' Komal Kumar, a village resident, said with visible pride.

Mureka is a sleepy hamlet with 80 households. Singh went to the US as a child with her family.

'I was raised in rural Pennsylvania, went to Pennsylvania State University where I got my Bachelor's Degree in the Administration of Justice,' she had told a website catering to the Indian community in New England a couple of years back.

She got her degree from Boston University School of Law and then did a clerkship with the Massachusetts Superior Court.

After that, Singh was an assistant district attorney in the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office.

Prior to her appointment as district court judge, she was special counsel for criminal rights appointment in the office of the US attorney in Boston.

Singh is also the founder of the Boston branch of the South Asian Bar Association, and has served as the president of the North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA), a voluntary body catering to the needs of South Asian origin lawyers in the US.

'Everyone now talks about Sabita Singh,' Mahendra Singh, another village resident, told IANS.

The villagers are planning to felicitate her when she comes visiting the next time.

According to them, Singh, with her parents and siblings, visits Mureka once a year, usually during winter. The villagers expect her to come either this month or in January.

The village is planning a big celebration to mark her presence.

'She is an NRI with a difference, she still loves her roots, respects elders and takes time to visit us,' Mahendra Singh said.

The Saran district Bar Association is also planning to honour Sabita Singh.

Last year when she visited Mureka, the Chapra Bar Association – her grandfather was a senior lawyer in the Chapra district court – felicitated her. This time, her biggest welcome yet will take place in this small village.